Mindful Breathing–Sama Vittri

This mindful breathing technique, Sama Vritti Pranayama, known by many as box breathing or square breathing (DBT folks), is used to balance the breath through our bodies. It can reduce stress, increase focus, lower anxiety, and create a sense of calm in those who practice it regularly.

I’m a fan of this technique because the focus on mindful breathing makes it easier to practice redirecting distracting thoughts. As you develop your practice the four steps become more routine and easier to move through effortlessly. In the beginning, however, take your time adjusting to the shortened exhalations and awkward breath retentions. Notice how your body sensations differ using this breath as opposed to other breathing techniques…what thoughts, challenges, benefits, and outcomes are different or the same.

Questions to consider during or after your practice:

  • Are you inclined to sit differently?
  • Do you imagine your breath in different ways with different imagery and different colors?
  • Are there different patterns of images that you see with your eyes closed or focused across the room?
  • What sensations are where in your body?


Other resources:

Sama Vritti Pranayama

Sama Vritti Pranayama for Reducing Stress

Learn the Benefits of Yogic Breathing for Your Health


For more information about the practice check out upcoming programs and classes, podcasts and events, and/or schedule your free 15 minute consultation.

Disclaimer: This content is intended for educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for mental health or medical treatment. It is important for those with clinical and medical diagnoses to receive the appropriate treatment from trusted and trained practitioners.